BirdLife, CI, IUCN & UNEP-WCMC: Review of the IBAT initiative

TBC was asked to conduct an independent review of the Integrated Biodiversity Assessment Tool (IBAT) initiative by the four IBAT partners: BirdLife International, Conservation International (CI), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC). The objective of the review was to provide a respected, authoritative and independent mechanism to help plan the next four years of the initiative. TBC consulted over 100 stakeholder organisations during the review, ranging from business users to non-governmental organisations and technical experts.

The IBAT initiative compiles biodiversity-related data layers in a practical web-based tool. It aims to ensure that decisions affecting critical natural habitats are informed by the best scientific information, and in turn that decision-makers support the generation and maintenance of that scientific information. TBC consulted IBAT stakeholders through a series of meetings, phone interviews and questionnaires, and synthesised their varying opinions into a set of conclusions and recommendations. The IBAT initiative was viewed very positively, with business users seeing it as an authoritative ‘one-stop shop’ for global biodiversity datasets from multiple credible institutions. Nonetheless, TBC identified a number of areas where IBAT could be developed to strengthen its unique selling points and to better suit the needs of business users. The IBAT partners have produced a public summary of the TBC conclusions and recommendations